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Saturday, November 30, 2002


Putting California Into Words
by Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times
California — and particularly Los Angeles — may defy comprehension, but they cannot escape explanation.

The Riches Of The $12 Room
by Daisann McLane, New York Times
Cheap hotels have a personality that is unmediated by designers and corporate honchos.

Friday, November 29, 2002


In Media Res
by Paul Krugman, New York Times
Will the economic interests of the media undermine objective news coverage?


From 'Hanukah' To Eternity
by Paul Farbi, Washington Post
What's so funny about identifying who's a Jew? Why is Sandler's song so entertaining to so many people — particularly Jewish people?

Telling It Online: It's A Man's World (Isn't It?)
by Lisa Guernsey, New York Times
Where were the women?

Thursday, November 28, 2002


Big Food Has Become A Big Problem
by Ellen Ruppel Shell, Los Angeles Times
Politicians and health officials must address pandemic obesity.

Pilgrims' Pit Stop
by Hank Stuever, Washington Post
On the way to Thanksgiving, Maryland house sees a comucopia of America.

The New Gatekeepers At The Restroom Door
by Eric Asimov, New York Times
Like an endangered species that suddenly appears in every backyard, restroom attendants are showing up in restaurants where you least expect to find them, and in greater numbers than you might imagine.

The Gift Of Mayhem
by Bob Herbert, New York Times
Millions of American adults have lost all sense of what are appropriate forms of play for children and teenagers.

The Truth About Squire Romolee
by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, New York Times
Thanksgiving's authenticity does not derive from its history but from the way it renews, year after year, the dream of American abundance.


Literary Devices
by Richard Powers, Salon
What happens when the Internet takes over from Shakespeare and Goethe?

Wednesday, November 27, 2002


Why Self-Esteem Doesn't Work
by Mary Ann Sieghart, The Times
We must teach our children to fend for themselves and to cope when life deals them a low blow.

Bye-Bye, Burgers
by James M. Pethokoukis, U.S. News
Americans are really chowing down at 'quick casual' restaurants.

Yes, But Are You Happy?
by John Balzar, Los Angeles Times
Money may be good, but friends — be they real or imaginary — are better.

Paul And George, Yesterday Meets Tomorrow
by Eli Attie, Washington Post
Harrison's and McCartney's albums are not merely as reflections of different lifestyle choices, but also are interpretations of rock itself.

A Wanderer At Home In Grass And Stardust
by Dennis Overbye, New York Times
Where is home, cowboy? My mind buzzed.


Ortlieb's Uptown Taproom
by W.S. Di Piero, Slate


Aides Find Ledger From First Congress
by Associated Press
The handwriting is a fastidious cursive, the signatures include those of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the columns record an era when senators were paid the lofty wage of $6 a day.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002


God And China
by Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times
China is in many ways freer than it has ever been, but alongside all that sparkles is the old police state. Particularly in remote areas, police can arrest people and torture or kill them with impunity, even if they are trying to do nothing more than worship God.


Lost On The Air: The Write Stuff
by Mike Penner, Los Angeles Times
In the desire to be seen and heard, loudly, sports reporters are getting more exposure — at the cost of credibility.

Solaris, Rediscovered
by Gary Wolf, Wired
Stanislaw Lem made hard science and deep philosophy into some of the greatest science fiction you've never seen. Now his classic Solaris is getting the Hollywood treatment.

Barcelona's Great Urban Spaces
by Jacqueline Friedrich, New York Times
The city has a long, complex history, distinguished by an unquenchable desire for independence.

The Censor And The Artist: A Murky Border
by Emily Eakin, New York Times
In this evolving environment, artists seeking access to images and information often find themselves in battle with companies determined to protect their content and trademarks from unauthorized use.

A Mummy's Bequest: Poems From A Master
by John Noble Wilford, New York Times
A mummy's gift, a forsaken papyrus scroll borne these 2,100 years or so over an entombed breast, now stands revealed to scholars as a multifaceted jewel of epigrammatic poetry from the cultural heyday of Alexandrian Egypt.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Tech & Science

Rebuilding Tomorrowland
by Scott Kirsner, Wired
For 50 years, Disney's Imagineers have put the tech magic in the Magic Kingdom. Now economic pressures are bringing the grand ambitions back down to earth, where it's a smaller world after all.


The Secret Life Of Us
by Jeanette Winterson, The Guardian
We censor it, sentimentalise it, treat it as a commodity. But we can't reduce its power. Why art now matters more than ever.

Neverending Siesta
by Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan, Washington Post
At Mexico's Hacienda de San Antonio, the only stress is saying no to all the pampering. So don't.

Writer Dan Savage's Sins And Sensibility
by Peter Carlson, Washington Post
"The Internet enabled the 42 American guys who like to have sex while dressed up as stuffed animals to find each other. And now they have conventions, too."

A Pig Returns To The Farm, Thumbing His Snout At Orwell
by Dinitia Smith, New York Times
An American novelist has written a parody of "Animal Farm," and the estate of George Orwell is not happy about it.

Oversimulated Suburbia
by David Brooks, New York Times
I don't know if it strikes you as odd that of all the arenas of human endeavor, the one that has produced the best-selling computer game of all time is the American suburb.

They Call Me Assassin
by Caroline F. Campion, New York Times
Hidden within one of the most benign of New York establishments, the neighborhood deli, dwells a silent killer. The fiend in question is not insidious bacteria, or even Steven Seagal. He is a cat, and that is often the only name he has: "Cat."


The Workout
by Roberta Spear, The Atlantic

by Louise Erdrich, New Yorker
At the edge of our reservation settlement there lived an old man whose arm was twisted up winglike along his side, and who was for that reason named for a butterfly—Shamengwa.

Sunday, November 24, 2002


No Hope
by James Traub, New York Times
This month's election was the first one since 1990 that was not, in some sense, a referendum on Bill Clinton.

Tech & Science

Walker In The Wireless City
by Tom Vanderbilt, New York Times
While most people were not watching, New York has become host to yet another layer of infrastructure, a random, interlinking constellation of what are called "wireless access points."


Are You Panicking Yet?
by Ann Treneman, The Times
I realised it made sense to strip Christmas of all emotion and treat it as a military operation.

What's The Big Idea?
by Guy Claxton, The Observer
Where do creative people get their inspiration, and why we're all more creative than we think.

Go West, Young Mutant
by Michael T. Jarvis, Los Angeles Times
In Southern California, Sci-Fi found a space in the sun.

Is This Any Way To Run A Divorce?
by Bob Thompson, Washington Post
When Eli and Debbie split up, after 15 years of marriage, they worked really hard to do right by their kids. The result looks a lot different from the stereotypes.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Tech & Science

The New Convergence
by Gregg Easterbrook, Wired News
Ever so gingerly, science has been backing away from its case-closed attitude toward the transcendent unknown.

Friday, November 22, 2002


What's Worse Than A Hawk? A Dove
by Mick Hume, The Spectator
Arguments against a war with Iraq are even more pathetic than those for it.

Tech & Science

From Wolf To Dog, Yes, But When?
by Nicholas Wade, New York Times
Few relationships are so laden with mutual benefit as that between man and dog. Much of the credit for this unusual state of affairs, it now turns out, may lie on the canine side of the equation.

Scientists Planning To Make New Form Of Life
by Justin Gillis, Washington Post
Scientists in Rockville are to announce this morning that they plan to create a new form of life in a laboratory dish, a project that raises ethical and safety issues but also promises to illuminate the fundamental mechanics of living organisms.


Why Does Everyone Loves Raymond?
by Virginia Heffernan, Slate
CBS' Seinfeld for Catholics.

Deadlin Hollywood: The Untold Story
by Nikki Finke, LA Weekly
How corporate takeovers make the media less curious.

Thursday, November 21, 2002


How War Left The Law Behind
by Michael J. Glennon, New York Times
How can the Security Council's decision bind Iraq but not the United States?

Viewer Beware
by Ben Fritz, Spinsanity
In "Bowling for Columbine," Michael Moore once again puts distortions and contradictions before the truth.


Reflections On A Half-Century In And Around Newsroom
by James B. McClatchy, Sacramento Bee
The commercial terms "properties" or "products" dehumanize newspapers, making them impersonal businesses without souls. The Sacramento Bee is not a property or product. It is an institution —an exceedingly fine one; a proud newspaper with a heart.

Truth Is Another Country
by Timothy Garton Ash, The Guardian
It may seem a grave limitation for any writer to leave the facts as facts, but self-limitation is a key to art. On this frontier we should stand.

Luxury Goods Special: Confessions Of A Dustjacket Junkie
by David Lovibond, The Spectator
The highs and lows of being addicted to collecting books.


Lego Site Irks Maori Sympathizer
by Kim Griggs, Wired News
A website for fans of Lego's Bionicle action figures has come under attack from a person angry at the use of Maori words on the website.

Salon Offers Free Access If You View Ads
by Michael Liedtke, Associated Press
Fighting for survival, the online magazine has introduced an unusual advertising program that waives subscription fees for readers willing to wade through an interactive commercial.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002


The Phantom Empire
by Alan Wolfe, Boston Globe
The Left and Right agree: the United States — once a republic that minded its own business — has become an empire that looks after everyone else's. They're wrong.

Tech & Science

Black Holes Are Double Trouble For Galaxy
by New Scientist
Two monstrous black holes are jostling for power in the same galaxy, the Chandra X-ray satellite has revealed. The pair will slam into each other in a few hundred million years, giving the fabric of space-time a good shake.

Who Wants To Live Forever?
by Kristen Philipkoski, Wired News
What kind of person believes it's possible to live forever? An Internet entrepreneur, a psychiatrist, an artificial intelligence expert, a nanotechnology expert, a science-fiction writer, a nurse and the wife of a professional wrestler, just to name a few, all very much believe in that possibility.

Political Spam: Get Used To It
by Katharine Mieszkowski, Salon
An outraged constituent is suing Elizabeth Dole's campaign for sending junk e-mail. Is spam from politicians a crime — or a vital First Amendment right?


Turkey Finds Its Inner Duck (And Chicken)
by Amanda Hesser, New York Times
They call it turducken: testing the Southern tradition of a bird within a bird within a bird.

England's Must-Pay TV
by Jacob Sager Weinstein, TV Barn
And you thought HBO had a brilliant business model.


November 18
by David Lehman, Slate

Tuesday, November 19, 2002


Apple For Teacher Was Rotten To The Core
by Arianna Hufington, Los Angeles Times
Wall Street's credibility was downgraded to junk status last week.

China's Three Lies
by Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times
The three Chinese lies go to the heart of the challenges that the country faces in the coming years.

Tech & Science

Armageddon Can Wait: Stopping Killer Asteroids
by Henry Fountain, New York Times
Sooner or later, scientists who study Earth-crossing asteroids say, astronomers will find one that has a significant chance of striking the planet.


Rainy Day Demands A Script Revise
by Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times
What's a kid to do on a rainy afternoon in L.A.? Write a comedy script, of course.

Zines, In A Zone All Their Own
by Peter Carlson, Washington Post
Zine Guide is, in short, a celebration of the weirder fruits of the First Amendment.

Egon Kafka, The Man Who Couldn't Stop Taking Buses
by William Booth, Washington Post
The mania to collect is well known, but not clearly understood.

Haggis, The Food Of Poets (Well, One Scottish Poet)
by Warren Hoge, New York Times
Consider the haggis and you may well wonder how it inspired a rhapsodic poem, became Scotland's national dish and touched off an incipient rebellion when Britain's food safety office hinted that it might ban it.

Paul Muldoon Doesn't Mind Being Called A Difficult Poet
by Dinitia Smith, New York Times
He is writing difficult poetry for a diffcult age.

Lilly Heir Makes $100 Million Bequest To Poetry Magazine
by Stephen Kinzer, New York Times
An ailing heir who tried but failed to have her poems published in a small literary journal has given that journal an astonishing bequest that is likely to be worth more than $100 million.

Mr. Resident
by Liza Mundy, Washington Post
A gavel stroke away from being the world's most powerful human, he becomes someone's suburban neighbor instead. What is that like? Al Gore wasn't telling...until now.


Post-Valentine's Day With Waitress
by Kelli Russell Agodon, DMQ Review
"Are you reading poetry?" the way someone
asks, "Are you wearning pants?"

Monday, November 18, 2002


No Time To Go It Alone
by Alexandr Vondra and Sally Painter, Washington Post
Europe and the United States and their mutual need for NATO.

Tech & Science

The Power Of Regret
by Benedict Carey, Los Angeles Times
Regret is as old as conscience itself. Yet only recently have researchers begun to clarify its emotional impact, and learn how it affects our health and behavior.


Asia Scares America
by Richard Corliss, Time
A Japanese thriller gets a Hollywood remake, and suddenly U.S. moguls are mad for Eastern movies.

Ha Ha Ha Ha—Huh?
by Dan Gilgoff, U.S. News
Fred Flintstone on trial. Scooby Doo on dope. There's something funny going on in TV cartoons.

The Calculator
by Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker
How Kenneth Feinberg determines the value of three thousand lives.

Trading Fiction's Comfort For A Chance To Look Life In The Eye
by Amy Bloom, New York Times
I didn't know that exploring the truth of some people's lives, and the stories they had to tell, would overturn my prejudices and my common sense and poke a sharp stick into the blind spots.


The Ant Of The Self
by ZZ Packer, New Yorker
"Opportunities," my father says after I bail him out of jail. "You've got to invest your money if you want opportunities."

Sunday, November 17, 2002


Public Schools And The American Dream
by Hodding Carter III, San Francisco Chronicle
The greatest single innovation of our democracy has been the idea of public school.

For Me, It Was Never About God
by Rick Weiss, Washington Post
Why would an organization demand a rote expression of religious faith when it's in a position to cultivate the real thing from scratch?

Flooded With Comments, Officials Plug Their Ears
by Katharine Q. Seelye, New York Times
The public comment period has become a widely discredited measure of public sentiment because it has been susceptible to what critics call AstroTurf campaigns, the opposite of real grass-roots efforts, in which advocacy groups encourage their members to sign their names on form letters.

Tech & Science

In Theory, It's True (Or Not)
by George Johnson, New York Times
With no way to get a grip on the slippery mathematical emulsion, verification seems impossible. The theory is so bad that — to use physicists' worst possible epithet — it is not even wrong.


The Costly Case Of The Purple Pill
by Neil Swidey, Boston Globe
The story of one blockbuster heartburn drug tells you everything you need to know about the high cost of prescription medicine.

The Generation Gap
by Barbara Ellen, The Observer
Still waiting for your real life to start? Maybe you've got a 'placebo' existence.

Bringing Up Baby
by Dave Bary, Washington Post
A survival guide to the pitfalls of parenting.

Office Envy
by Jeanne marie Laskas, Washington Post
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's bookcase.

This Is A Headline For An Essay About Meta
by Laura Miller, New York Times
Not quite parody but possibly ironic and probably postmodern — what these jokes are, as the former English majors out there will no doubt recognize, is meta.

Central Florida, Pre-Mickey
by Susan Harb, New York Times
There are places where river cruises encounter real snakes and gators, not mechanical creations; where stately live oaks are the topiaries of cow pastures; and where your fish dinner comes from the lake where you caught it.

Making His Numbers
by George Conrades, New York Times
Life is a sine curve, with its endless ups and downs. Things are never as good as they seem, or as bad as they seem.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Tech & Science

Food For Thought
by William R. Leonard, Scientific American
It is not just changes in diet that have created many of our pervasive health problems but the interaction of shifting diets and changing lifestyles.


Seven Inches Of Heaven
by Peter Paphides, The Guardian
In the century of popular culture, no item of software wielded as much influence as the seven-inch record.

Teachers Wrap Lessons In Fiction
by Patricia Cohen, New York Times
Looking for fresh ways to engage overloaded students, a growing number of professors at big universities and small colleges are supplementing traditionally sober textbooks with a curious genre: the textbook-novel.

Toy Makers Hope Children Will See Oldies As Goodies
by Tracie Rozhon, New York Times
For toy makers approaching Christmas, this is not a big year for originality.

A Life That Gained In The Translation
by Linton Weeks, Washington Post
Tatiana Kudriavtseva, bringing Russia the best of American literature.

Soft News And Hard Candy
by Jack Shafer, Slate
The Wall Street Journal's "Personal Journal" is too much of a good thing.

Friday, November 15, 2002


The Polling Results Are In: You're A Liar
by Arianna Huffington, Los Angeles Times
The problem isn't with us, dear voters — or even with you, dear nonvoters. The problem is with the pollsters' inability to account for an increasingly uncooperative public.

You Are A Suspect
by William Safire, New York Times
The government's infinite knowledge about you is its power over you. "We're just as concerned as the next person with protecting privacy," this brilliant mind blandly assured The Post. A jury found he spoke falsely before.

Tech & Science

First Citizen Of The Space-Time World
by Dennis Overbye, New York Times
For those who think of Einstein mainly as the wild-haired geek responsible for mind-bending and obscure pronouncements about space, time and the universe, "Einstein", at American Museum of Natural History, is likely to be an eye-opener.


Japan's Lunchbox Fare Pleases Eye, Palate
by Deb Samuels, Boston Globe
A colorful, enticing meal is important in Japanese families. The Japanese learn early on to "eat with their eyes."

Where Witty Meets Gritty
by Holland Cotter, New York Times
Manhattan's Lower East Side, the underground's underground, is becoming gallery territory.

Musical Chairs
by Martha Brant, Newsweek
Newsweek is moved from Row 3 to Row 6 in the White House briefing room. Bob Uecker would be proud.


Will The Real Bil Wyman Please Tune Up?
by Bill Wyman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
I was shocked to see that the "cease and desist" part had to do with me using ... My own name?

Thursday, November 14, 2002


Critique Of Pure Comedy
by Jefferson Chase, Boston Globe
The terrorists' humor problem — and our own.


Will The DVD Save Movies?
by Charles Taylor, Salon
Film purists have long wanted to watch movies "as they were meant to be seen." With the art house all but dead, the future of film is right there in your living room.

Grin And Hug It
by Don Oldenburg, Washington Post
Bearing up well, the ubiquitous Teddy turns 100.

How To Build A Better Bureaucrat
by Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post
Take integrity and hard work and shower with praise.

BYOB, But It'll Cost You
by Valli Herman-Cohen, Los Angeles Times
More people are bringing their own wine, and restaurants are fighting back with tougher rules and corkage fees as high as $50.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002


Armchair General
by Christopher Hitchens, Slate
The ugly idea that non-soldiers have less right to argue for war.

Tech & Science

Silicon Hogs
by Katharine Mieszkowski, Salon
A new study tars microchip manufacturing as wasteful and inefficient. Whatever happened to high tech's squeaky-clean image?


If You're Beautiful, Life Is Easy
by Giles Whittell, The Times
It began with entertainment, the arts and sport, but now in every walk of life looks are a more important guide to success than talent. It's all over for the fat lady, whether she can sing or not.

It Takes A Wedding
by Alex Kotlowitz, New York Times
Might marriage be making a comeback in communities where the vast majority of children are born to single parents?

Waiter, Are There Carbs In My Soup?
by Julia Moskin, New York Times
New York City restaurants are being swarmed by a fat-seeking, protein-craving army.

The Big Flavors Of Little Rhode Island
by Paul Lukas, New York Times
If the notion of Rhode Island food specialties seems dubious, think again.

Thong Of The South
by Dahlia Lithwick, Slate
How a Kentucky smut shop put the starch in Victoria's Secret's shorts.

Putting Letterman On Radio Is A Stupid Corporate Trick
by Robert Philpot, Star-Telegram
Letterman on radio is a boneheaded idea, largely because Letterman relies on a lot of visual shtick.


by Rosanna Warren, Slate

Tuesday, November 12, 2002


Let 'The Quiet American' Speak
by Brett Dakin, Washington Post
Our willingness to question our leaders without fear is the very essence of our patriotism.

Election Will Make Life Better — For The Rich
by Dan Gillmor, San Jose Mercury News
Americans have just voted for a cartel economy, whether they realize it or not. They've reinforced the power of a corporate and political elite that serves itself first, and cares little for average people.


Match Made In Heaven, Match Made In Hell
by Salon
True-life tales of lust, horror — and martial bliss — from the world of online romance.

Movie Retreads On The Skids
by Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
No matter how hard Hollywood tries to brainwash moviegoers into embracing familiarity, when we gather in the dark we crave something fresh and new.

The Whole Mom Catalogue
by Roxanne Roberts, Washington Post
A hot new novel addresses career mothers. It's total fiction.

A Writer Leaves History Behind To Celebrate Trees
by Claudia Dreifus, New York Times
Thomas Pakenham is an Anglo-Irish military historian who has taken to writing about trees: great trees and how to appreciate them.

Monday, November 11, 2002


Power Play
by Andrew J. Nathan, Time
The Chinese Communist Party still wants nothing less than total control.

Dad, Can I Borrow The Scepter?
by Michael Kinsley, Time
Even as our mos tlegendary political dynasty withers away, American democracy is becoming oddly more dynastic, not less so.

Tech & Science

The Sugar Habit
by Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Just a sweet tooth or a real addiction? Once skeptical, scientists take a closer look at the notion that people can get hooked on sugar as if it were a drug.


Are We There Yet?
by Kevin Peraino, Newsweek
Airports have to meet tougher standards for checking baggage this holiday season. Get ready for a big mess.

When The Audience Is Scarier Than The Movie
by Al Martinez, Los Angeles Times
I challenged movie demographics the other night and ended up in teenage hell. It wasn't so much the film, which was "The Ring," but the audience. Ninety percent of it consisted of those between the ages of 13 and 16, and they were there to be heard.

There Shouldn't Be A Remote Control On How We Watch DVDs
by Ernest Miller, Los Angeles Times
What would you think if you had to get permission from the architect before you could have your house painted another color? How would you feel if the photographer had to agree with your selection of a frame for a favorite photograph? What if the director of a movie could decide when it was OK for you to fast-forward through a DVD you had rented?

Gone With The Wind
by Linton Weeks, Washington Post
Has the once-towering genre of Southern Literature lost its compass?

HarperCollins Plans The Timing Of 'Prey' Almost To A Nanosecond
by Bill Goldstein, New York Times
The planning behind the date's selection, and the intensely concentrated promotion that will accompany "Prey," show how the "opening" of a major book has increasingly come to resemble the opening of a movie.

Aspiring Screenwriters Turn To Web For Encouragement
by Matthew Mirapaul, New York Times
Internet sites for amateur screenwriters are opening faster than James Bond sequels.

A Call To Honor
by Lucian K. Truscott IV, New York Times
My father died two years ago. He was a veteran of two wars, in Korea and Vietnam, and for reasons of his own, he didn't want the military funeral he was entitled to. But Veterans Day seems like a good time to honor his service to his country with a story about his lifelong love of the bugle call, taps.


Last Night
by James Salter, New Yorker
Walter Such was a translator. He liked to write with a green fountain pen that he had a habit of raising in the air slightly after each sentence, almost as if his hand were a mechanical device. He could recite lines of Blok in Russian and then give Rilke's translation of them in German, pointing out their beauty. He was a sociable but also sometimes prickly man, who stuttered a little at first and who lived with his wife in a manner they liked. But Marit, his wife, was ill.

Sunday, November 10, 2002


Are We The Wave Of The Future Or Have We Just Gone Surfin'
by John Balzar, Los Angeles Times
California seems to have lost its direction.

Tech & Science

Sensors Gone Wild
by Benjamin Fulford, Forbes
An experiment in the California desert and an executive suite in Tokyo provide tantalizing hints of how a networked world could make everyday life a lot more precise and profound.


The Art Of Entertaining
by David Lansing, Los Angeles Times
Dinner parties are back, but formality is not. Think intimate late-night gatherings with an eclectic guest list and surprising presentation. Southern Californians show us the new wave of party-giving.

The Parent Trap
by Christopher Shea, Washington Post
What happens when parents wield too much power over what goes on in their children's schools?

A Classroom Crusade
by Darragh Johnson, Washington Post
Eric Smith wants to prove he can eliminate the achievement gap that divides blacks and Hispanics from Asians and whites. His stint in Maryland will put him to the test.

Knocked Off
by Charles McGrath, New York Times
If a novel has already brought to life — real life — the world it invented, can a sequel by another writer possibly get the job done?

For All You Observers Of The Urban Extravaganza
by Herbert Muschamp, New York Times
Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio have defined a new building type for the contemporary city: the urban viewing platform.

A New Platform For The New Poets
by Jon Pareles, New York Times
"Def Poetry Jam on Broadway" combines the ancient traditions of bards and griots and the more recent resurgence of spoken-word and hip-hop.

An Animal's Place
by Michael Pollan, New York Times
Animal rights advocates present a compelling vision of a more moral world. But this vision is ecologically foolhardy — and based on a naÔve definition of animal happiness.

Saturday, November 9, 2002

Tech & Science

Warming Waters And Dying Lobsters
by Kirk Johnson, New York Times
A scientist's discovery may support the claim that a global climate change is responsible for a precipitous decline in Long Island Sound lobsters.

TiVo Is To TV As Slicing Was To Bread
by Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle
I'm telling you, if you get hooked on a DVR and find others haven't adapted, it's like when you call someone and the phone rings and rings and rings — and you realize the person doesn't own an answering machine. Damn Luddites.

Rules For A Complex Quantum World
by Michael A. Nielsen, Scientific American
Scientists' current understanding of quantum mechanics is like that of a slow-learning student of chess. We've known the rules for more than 70 years, and we have a few clever moves that work in some special situations, but we're only gradually learning the high-level principles needed to play a skillful overall game.


Hide, Seek For Power Bricks
by Chris Muldrow, The Free Lance-Star
Those people who tend to buy consumer electronics have not only run out of money, we've run out of wall outlets.

The World, With A Sigh And A Wink
by Edward Rothstein, New York Times
Yiddish literature can be unpredictably unsettling, combining innocence and sentiment with dark sarcasm and knowing irony.

Friday, November 8, 2002


Machiavelli In Mesopotamia
by Christopher Hitchens, Slate
The case against the case against "regime change" in Iraq.

Losers In The War Of Ideas
by Ted Halstead, Washington Post
Where Democrats lost is in the war of ideas.

Into The Wilderness
by Paul Krugman, New York Times
For those of us who think the nation has taken a disastrous wrong turn these past two years, Tuesday's election changed everything and nothing.


Sky Mall Reminds Us You Can Never Be Too Careful
by Lawrence Cohen, Boston Globe
It wasn't the heightened security efforts at airports that got me, or the need to look carefully at all the other passengers' shoes, but a fascinating catalog provided on airplanes called Sky Mall.

It's Deja Vu For Nostalgic Diners
by Corby Kummer, New York Times
"New York Eats Out" at the New York Public Library gives an all-too-fleeting overview of the city's high and low cuisine for the last 150 years.

Professor Soundbite
by Amy Roe, Willamette Week
Gary Perlsgtein is a "terrorism expert." Because we said so.

Thursday, November 7, 2002


24 Little Hours
by Pete Du Pont, Wall Street Journal
America turns right. What a difference a day makes.

Leftists Turn Blind Eye To Iraqis' Plight
by Norah Vincent, Los Angeles Times
Tyranny victims need U.S. help to win rights.

Will The Party Lose China?
by David Shambaugh, New York Times
The party today faces dual crises of identity and legitimacy.


Brunettes Have Less Fun
by Bella Bathurst, The Guardian
Why does putting on lipstick make me feel like Lily Savage's corpse?

My Winona
by Andrew Leonard, Salon
What became of you, O alterna-hipster movie goddess of the bygone slacker era? A Winona boy laments his fallen idol.

Pilot Project Is Sending Books To American Troops Abroad
by Mel Gussow, New York Times
The month, the Armed Services Editions are returning with 100,000 copies of new versions of four books being printed in the same wide, brightly colored "cargo pocket" format.

Wednesday, November 6, 2002


The American Idol
by Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times
If you think Germany is turning anti-American, pay attention to what happened here last month when President Clinton visited Berlin.


When Did ESPN Stop Doing Sports?
by Robert Weintraub, Slate
The netwok has become the Worldwide Leader in Hot Air.

Genius? Hack? Genius?
by Ian Rothkerch, Salon
Brian De Palma comes clean on his tawdry new film, the old "Scarface" controversy and the reasons "Bonfire of the Vanities" flopped.

Heart Of Understanding
by John Balzar, Los Angeles Times
Literature deepens our thinking in a world of sound bites. On this, dear teachers, surely we can agree.

One Of Those Days When Things Go Right
by Patricia R. Olsen, Melinda Ligos, Stephen Gregory, Jane L. Levere, and compiled by Brent Bowers, New York Times
Business travel has gotten a bad rap, especially after Sept. 11. But now and then, something magical happens.

Tiger In A Lifeboat, Panther In A Lifeboat: A Furor Over A Novel
by Larry Rohter, New York Times
Yann Martel readily admits that his novel, "Life of Pi," the winner of this year's Man Booker Prize, was inspired by the premise of a Brazilian novel.

Say Cheese, For Airport Insecurity And For Art
by Sarah Boxer, New York Times
A Canadian artist gathered an unusual collection of photos taken at security checkpoints by spreading the word on Web 'zines.


by Jill McDonough, Slate


A Double Bed With Wings
by Chris Isidore, CNN/Money
Singapore Airlines is introducing what it says is the first airline double bed to its business class cabin, but while it expects to attract couples with the feature, it hopes those couples will use the beds for sleeping and cuddling only.

Tuesday, November 5, 2002


Government By Procrastination
by David S. Broder, Washington Post
If there is one word that characterizes the just-finished midterm campaign, it is avoidance.

by Joshua Muravchik, Foreign Policy
No other idea so enchanted the 20th century as Marxism.

Tech & Science

New Theory On Dinosaurs: Multiple Meteroites Did Them In
by William J. Broad, New York Times
The discoveries are giving new support to the idea that killer objects from outer space may have sometimes arrived in pairs or even swarms, perhaps explaining why the extinctions seen in the fossil record can be messy affairs.

Students Build A System To Solve A Cosmic Puzzle
by karen W. Arenson, New York Times
Students from nine New York high schools are participating in an experiment where they will try to discover the origin of high-energy cosmic particles.


Everybody Loves Gilbert!
by Alex Beam, Boston Globe
Economic challenges notwithstanding, we are witnessing a small boom in magazine start-ups.

Voting Into The Void
by Farhad Manjoo, Salon
New touch-screen voting machines may look spiffy, but some experts say they can't be trusted.

Badminton, Anyone?
by Laura Sessions Stepp, Washington Post
The game moves out of the back yard and into the arena, as Americans play catch-up on a global sports favorite.

The Serendipitous Life Of The Solo Voyager
by Geronimo Madrid, New York Times
Those who travel alone return with tales of instant friendships, bouts of loneliness, romantic fantasies and peeks at myriad lives.

For Canada's Top Novelists, Being Born Abroad Helps
by Cliford Krauss, New York Times
A good many if not a majority of the leading lights of Canadian letters today are immigrants, including the three finalists for the Booker Prize this year.


Julian Of Norwich
by Kathleen Jamie, Limelight


The Strange Tale Of Unlucky Luciano
by Daniel Williams, Washington Post
Luciana Buonocore would like to be known as Luciano. In fact, he would like to be known as a man. Because he is one.

Monday, November 4, 2002


For Turnout Turnabout
by William Safire, New York Times
It's time to get practical and solve the problem of poor voter turnout in America. Here are four different Swiftian ways.

Tech & Science

What Freud Got Right
by Fred Guterl, Newsweek
His theories, long discredited, are finding support from neurologists using modern brain imaging.


This Contest Was Won Four Centuries Ago
by Roy Hattersley, The Guardian
Shakespeare is the greatest Briton. He invented our national identity.

The Honeymooners
by Libby Copeland, Washington Post
68 years later, couple travels in parents' footsteps.

Magazine's Ink Running Out
by Frank Ahrens, Washington Post
Business Foward gets its own lesson in local economics.

Fir The Irish, Long-Windedness Serves As A Literary Virtue
by Maeve Binchy, New York Times
The Irish don't really think about writing, it is just a natural extension of what we do all the time, which is talking.


by T. Coraghessan Boyle, New Yorker
It was the season of mud, drainpipes drooling, the gutters clogged with debris, a battered and penitential robin fixed like a statue on every lawn.


Need A Used-Book Store? Write An Essay Online
by David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times
Karen Tolley thought her used-book store in the tiny town of Roseburg, Ore., might fetch about $150,000 if put up for sale, but she wanted her payment to come with a touch of poetry, too.

Sunday, November 3, 2002


Learning To Love Deficits
by Michael M. Weinstein, New York Times
Liberals were right then, wrong now. How did this change of heart come about?


A Voice Inside
by Kerry Madden, Los Angeles Times
We can put throwaway kids in prison, but that doesn't mean they'll be quiet.

An Enduring Elitist And His Popular Museum
by Michael Kimmelman, New York Times
People can agree about two things when it comes to art museums now, that they're popular, and that they are suffering an identity crisis.

What, Me Worry About Insults?
by Thomas Vinciguerra, New York Times
With the 50th anniversary issue now on newsstands, here are some past love letters to Mad.

Saturday, November 2, 2002


Embryos Made Easy
by Michael Kimsley, Washington Post
Does President Bush believe that embryos are human beings with full hukman rights, or does he not?


The Romance Of The Monorail
by Brendan I. Koerner, Slate
The mass transit technology of Tomorrowland finally reaches today.

What Did Poe Know About Cosmology? Nothing. But He Was Right.
by Emily Eakin, New York Times
Eighty years before 20th-century cosmologists hammered out the math, Poe, it turns out, came up with a rudimentary version of contemporary science's best guess for explaining how the universe began.

"How Did I Do This Before Google?"
by Willizam Prochnau, American Journalism Review
The relationship between newspapers and computers got off to a shaky start, but it was destined to go the distance. What are the ramifications?

Classroom Research And Cargo Cults
by E.D. Hirsch Jr., Policy Review
After many years of educational research, it is disconcerting — and also deeply significant — that we have little dependable research guidance for school policy.

Friday, November 1, 2002


Step Right Up, Walk Right In
by James P. Pinkerton, Los Angeles Times
This is homeland security?

Memorial Rally
by George F. Will, Washington Post
So began the pre-election phase of the Minnesota Democrats' post-election campaign.

Tech & Science

NP Or Not NP?
by The Economist
Dr Demaine and his colleagues have demonstrated that Tetris belongs to a class of mathematical problems known as NP-complete.

Selling The Free Lunch
by Graham P. Collins, Scientific American
Perpetual motion has changed its name but not its methods.

10 Confounding Cosmic Questions
by Joe Rao,
Hereís my own personal list of ten Confounding Cosmic Questions, in no particular order, along with some less confounding answers.


Red Scare
by Jack Shafer, Slate
In Chicago, the Tribune Co.'s Red Eye races Hollinger's Red Streak to the bottom.

The Pinch Of Piracy Wakes China Up On Copyright Issue
by Joseph Kahn, New York Times
Throughout the 1990's, intellectual property was mainly seen as a trade dispute pitting the wealthy West against the developing East. It's now also a domestic struggle, with local stars complaining that they get little fortune from their own fame.


My Father, The Ghost Hunter
by Cameron Barrett
It's only now that I am an adult and can look back at my childhood memories with a new perspective and realize that he was more than just my dad. It is only now that I can come to terms with the idea that my father could see ghosts.


A Grimace For Le Big Mac
by Associated Press
The French division of McDonald's has run ads that included a surprising suggestion: Kids shouldn't eat at McDonald's more than once a week.

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